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Coach Bill Lewis

Vikings can't afford to pass on the aerial game

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The Vikings went into the North Dakota game having relied heavily on the run and without having showed a lot in the passing game — and not much changed. PSU had trouble throwing the ball, other than Kuresa’s 76-yard TD slant pass-and-run to fleet Grant High graduate Paris Penn on the team’s first play from scrimmage.

North Dakota was playing to stop the run first, which led to PSU gaining only 97 yards on 30 carries.

“When that’s happening, we need to throw the football better,” Barnum says. “When there’s eight or nine (defenders) in the box, two more than us, we have to distribute to our receivers until we loosen you up.”

By loading up defensively near the line of scrimmage, North Dakota was locked into playing man-to-man coverage on Portland State’s receivers, and the Vikings couldn’t make them pay for it.

“If someone’s going to go man against us consistenly, we’ve got to throw the football and get them back into zone,” Barnum says. “This game is simple: If they’re in man, throw it. In zone, run it. That’s football 101. I’ve talked to (offensive coordinator) Steve Cooper about how we have to improve that part of our game.”

Overall, when it comes to run-pass, “we need to get to 50-50,” Barnum says.

Through four games, the Vikings are at 75 percent run, 25 percent pass.

The Vikings suffered one key injury in the North Dakota game, losing standout cornerback Aaron Sibley to a pulled hamstring. Sibley, also a key contributor on special teams, has had problems with that in the past, and the Vikings went into the week waiting to see if scar tissue was the issue this time and could be treated enough for him to get back on the field at North Texas.

North Texas quarterback Andrew McNulty is a 6-1, 210-pound senior from Iowa City, Iowa (North Texas coach Dan McCarney is an Iowa graduate who used to coach there and at Iowa State).

McNulty has completed 60 of 126 passes (47.6 percent) for 699 yards and three touchdowns in the Mean Green’s 0-4 start, with four interceptions.

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every time I see mcnulty's stats it makes me cringe.  I know we've dropped some passes, but geeeeeeeeez.  But he's doing what they consistently ask for in PRACTICE!

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every time I see mcnulty's stats it makes me cringe.  I know we've dropped some passes, but geeeeeeeeez.  But he's doing what they consistently ask for in PRACTICE!

If it is more than 7 yards down the field through the air I get nervous. 

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